Handy Home Hints

9 uses for old spectacle cases

  1. Use as a manicure case – just pop in a nail file, clippers and your favourite nail polish.
  2. Makes a great pencil case.
  3. Use it as a beauty touch-up kit for items such as lipstick and mascara.
  4. Your old case will make a great miniature sewing kit for emergency repairs on holidays.
  5. Add needles, thread, safety pins and a couple of buttons.
  6. Store drill bits so you can find them all in one place.
  7. Keep a few tissues and a small bottle of hand sanitiser in one for easy access in your bag or your car.
  8. Store flash drives to stop them from getting lost.
  9. Store spare keys.
  10. Use as a jewellery case when you are travelling.

Six Egg-cellent egg tips

  1. Picture perfect poached eggs - remove excess watery egg white by cracking eggs into a strainer over the sink. Then lower the egg into your simmering water.
  2. Egg saver - freeze leftover egg whites or yolks in ice-cube trays. Yolks should be stabilised first by beating well with a pinch of salt. Whites need no special treatment.
  3. Easy-peel hard-boiled eggs - pop a lemon wedge in the water when boiling eggs to make the shells come off easily. You can also put your boiled eggs into a container and half-fill with cold water. Seal and shake for 10 seconds. Pour out the water and watch the shells slide off.
  4. Convenient eggs - boiled eggs will last for up to 4 days in the fridge. To keep track, write the date they were boiled on the shell.
  5. The perfect temperature for baking - when baking, use eggs that are at room temperature. They whip up more easily and give a lighter texture to cakes.
  6. Use eggshells to remove eggshells - the empty half of an eggshell is the best tool to fish out shell fragments that have accidentally fallen into the bowl. .
eggs illustration

Nine handy recipe substitutes

Ever get to a crucial point in a recipe and discover you’ve run out of something? Or you can’t find an ingredient in the supermarket? Don’t panic, here are some things you can use instead.

  1. Melted butter – equal quantity of a neutral tasting oil such as canola
  2. 1 egg – 1 tsp sodium bicarb and 1 tbsp vinegar mixed together; or a quarter cup of yoghurt
  3. Apple cider vinegar – half the amount of white wine vinegar
  4. Buttermilk – an equal amount of yoghurt
  5. 1 tsp fresh ginger – half teaspoon of ginger powder
  6. 1 tbsp fresh herbs – 1 tsp of dried herbs
  7. Cream of tartar – 2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
  8. Clove of garlic – 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  9. Wine/beer – an equal amount of liquid stock
cookbook illustration

Stop sprouting spuds

To stop potatoes from sprouting, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

Healthy homemade popcorn

Microwave your own popcorn in a plain brown paper bag. It’s healthier and cheaper than the store-bought variety.

Clean your kettle

Add 1 cup (250ml) of white vinegar to your kettle and top up with water. Bring to the boil, and rinse out well.

kettle illustration

Blowdry stubborn stickers

Remove stubborn stickers from walls, crockery and glassware by giving them a blast with a hairdryer set to ‘hot’.

Microwave cleaning made easy

To make your microwave easier to clean, place damp paper towels inside and turn on high for 10 seconds. Then clean as usual.

microwave illustration

Make your own seed starters

Fill a box with a little bit of potting mix. Cut empty toilet roll tubes in half and wiggle them into the soil. Press seeds into each roll and cover with more potting mix. When ready, the seedlings can go straight into the ground with the cardboard roll - this will protect the roots from being disturbed while planting out.

seedling illustration